Are Your Workplace Insecurities Real or Imagined?
Insecurities in the workplace are a thing – even for those who would not normally consider themselves insecure. For many of us, feeling somehow ‘less than’ on the job is a constant struggle – and usually, the feelings are not even warranted.
You have probably had times at work when you have been told to suck it up, put on a happy face and get on with it. A little faking it to get through the work week is normal, but if you are constantly in a position of putting on an act with the sole intention of appearing confident, then that is a problem that needs fixing.
Everyone is looking to improve somehow, and in that respect, insecurities can be useful in motivating us to grow. But, when your self-doubt is setting you back instead of contributing to your progress, that is when things need to change.
How to Spot the Signs of Growing Insecurities
Wanting always to be right is something a lot of us are guilty of – but it is not a great way to be at the office. You try to get your own way in a meeting, work to prove things how things would be better if an earlier decision had gone your way and aim to be the one in the room to come out shining. This is usually the result of other basic insecurities. But setting yourself up as being right on everything at all times is only going to result in being challenged constantly on your decision making which in turn lead to – you guessed it – more insecurity.
Learn to listen to colleagues, respect their opinions. You are unlikely to be in a position to have the final decision on everything, and there is often more than one ‘right’ way to do something, so go with the flow sometimes.
Too Willing to be The Fall Guy?
Are you the sort of person who takes self-deprecation too far? Some people, in the belief of wanting to appear approachable, one of the team, and just a regular person go way overboard in this regard. This will simply have the effect of making you seem passive, putting yourself down all the time will not have the effect of making yourself more endearing, and it will leave you behind when it comes to promotions or real responsibility. You will be the last person to realise it too, and this behaviour is the perfect Petrie dish to grow massive workplace insecurities. Recognise what you are doing and rein it in.
Hollow Victory is No Victory
Keep your eyes on the things that truly matter in your career. Things like job titles, salaries, awards, or reputation are pretty compelling, and the pay-offs can feel amazing. But those things can also be a distraction from asking yourself the big questions, like ‘what kind of work matters to me?’ Or ‘how can I make a difference through my work?’ Or even, ‘what kind of person am I becoming?’
Material success will only ever build hollow and temporary confidence; there is little point in just checking off the boxes you think will lead you to the top of the ladder. Any euphoria you feel will last temporarily. What remains will be feelings of massive insecurity based on the fact that your victory has not been earned on merit but sheer ambition. You will never know if you are admired or scorned for your success. Natural confidence is, in many ways, intrinsic; though it can be strengthened and honed if you work to make it happen. And that is hugely important. You do not have to fake confidence because it is somewhere within you already. Now it is just up to you to find it.